Author Topic: 24 years!  (Read 587 times)

Offline majorvices

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24 years!
« on: December 29, 2019, 09:03:36 AM »
Holy cow. I have been brewing beer for 24 years now this week. The very first batch of beer I ever made (way back in 1996 even before I knew about the internet) came from a kit (John Bull extract kit ... I used the yeast under the lid) and I can remember how excited I was back then ...  . I was super pumped about learning how to brew. Even though that first batch really sucked and tasted like vomit (butyric acid I guess? Gross!)

At the time, i was living in a duplex out in the county -  still a fresh implant in the deep south moved in from Pennsylvania, newly married, no kids yet (but did have an awesome dog)... I had an electric stove that was part of the property I rented. I was never able to clean up that first boil over. And Charlie warned me that would happen!

The simple act of brewing beer changed my life. It made me think differently. I found new friends. It got me passionate about science in a way that was unfathomable to me before. It changed my career trajectory. Holy hell I founded a business on this passion ... it almost destroyed my marriage (the business not the brewing) and I was ultimately forced out of the business I founded due to creative differences I did not foresee coming ...

And yet I continue to brew both as a hobby and professionally. Yesterday I brewed a Kölsch and even after 24+ years of brewing essentially the same recipe I tried something new based on information I found here on this forum. And my excitement has yet to waiver. I am just as excited about this last batch as I was about the first batch I ever brewed. Holy hell I think I am even more excited. And I'm not sure how that is possible.

Brewing beer changed my life. It gave me a purpose I didn't know existed. It gave me a focus that I didn't even know I had. I understand that a lot of this may seem a bit "over the top" and I don't blame anyone for thinking that. Hell it even shocks me. But it is what it is.... and I'm still here talking about it.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 11:47:22 AM »
What a great story, Keith.  I've been interacting with you for almost 20 years now, and I've learned so much from you, and from Denny, and so many others, on this forum but a great many forums outside this one as well (remember MoreBeer?).  Great to see that you still haven't lost your passion.

Personally I don't brew so often anymore (still have 7 cases of bottled beer, mead, and cider in my basement, most of it commercial! -- used to have 11+ cases so I'm working on my "drinking problem"), but it is in fact my love for all the math and science that draw me back to this hobby, time and time again, back to the forums and to spreadsheets if not to the actual brewing, more than anything else.
Dave

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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2019, 01:52:38 PM »
I can very easily relate to both your stories.  I’m relatively new to this crazy hobby.  I started brewing in my kitchen in 2013.  My first batch was a 5 gallon extract.  I pitched the yeast, set my carboy on the counter and went to bed.  My wife and I woke up the following morning to find a very violent fermentation.  It clogged my airlock, then finally blew the airlock into the next room and spewed wort and hop residue all over the snow white ceiling.  How do you think my wife felt about my newfound hobby that day?  But it was that instance that forced me to learn more about the hobby and how to avoid such mistakes.  Now I leave more than just a couple inches of head space!  :o

I just put a bottle of German Pilsner in my fridge.  The brew is in the bottle for only one week.  I try a bottle every week until it’s ready to cold crash - typically 3 weeks.  The excitement I feel with with each sample makes me feel like a little kid.  This is a wonderful, compelling and addictive hobby and I love reading other stories like yours, Dave and Keith.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2019, 02:29:56 PM »
What a great story, Keith.  I've been interacting with you for almost 20 years now, and I've learned so much from you, and from Denny, and so many others, on this forum but a great many forums outside this one as well (remember MoreBeer?).  Great to see that you still haven't lost your passion.

Personally I don't brew so often anymore (still have 7 cases of bottled beer, mead, and cider in my basement, most of it commercial! -- used to have 11+ cases so I'm working on my "drinking problem"), but it is in fact my love for all the math and science that draw me back to this hobby, time and time again, back to the forums and to spreadsheets if not to the actual brewing, more than anything else.

Yes! I have learned a lot from you too! The MoreBeer forum was where I really started to cut my teeth on this craft.

Offline majorvices

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2019, 02:31:22 PM »
I can very easily relate to both your stories.  I’m relatively new to this crazy hobby.  I started brewing in my kitchen in 2013.  My first batch was a 5 gallon extract.  I pitched the yeast, set my carboy on the counter and went to bed.  My wife and I woke up the following morning to find a very violent fermentation.  It clogged my airlock, then finally blew the airlock into the next room and spewed wort and hop residue all over the snow white ceiling.  How do you think my wife felt about my newfound hobby that day?  But it was that instance that forced me to learn more about the hobby and how to avoid such mistakes.  Now I leave more than just a couple inches of head space!  :o

I just put a bottle of German Pilsner in my fridge.  The brew is in the bottle for only one week.  I try a bottle every week until it’s ready to cold crash - typically 3 weeks.  The excitement I feel with with each sample makes me feel like a little kid.  This is a wonderful, compelling and addictive hobby and I love reading other stories like yours, Dave and Keith.

Hahahaha I remember having the same experiences with warm and excessively active fermentations!

Offline denny

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2019, 03:16:16 PM »
I started 22 years ago this March 17.  Back in those days, internet beer discussion meant a Usenet news group called rec.crafts.brewing.  Eventually the HBD mailing list popped up around the sme time then the fist website forums like the Brewrats and Tastybrew.  When More beer and Northern Brewer started real discussion forums it was like we were finally recognized.  I don't brew as much as I used to or would like to these days.  But the community  around homebrewing is still what keeps me going.  Homebrewers are by and large great people and that camaraderie is what I really treasure.  The rest is only beer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline narvin

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2019, 04:37:08 PM »
Wow, congrats and glad to hear that the passion is still there.    I definitely learned a lot from your posts in the early (for me) days.  I've just started getting back into it after a couple years off, and I'm as excited as ever to try my first batch in a few days.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2019, 04:43:39 PM »
Noob, 27+ years here.   ;)
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Offline denny

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2019, 04:44:24 PM »
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2019, 05:13:33 PM »
Noob, 27+ years here.   ;)

Old man!   ;D

Yes I am. Wait, you're older than me.  ;D
Jeff Rankert
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Offline denny

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2019, 05:21:47 PM »
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Visor

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2019, 05:43:03 PM »
   I first started brewing in '84, stale, old extract beers of course,  most which were barely drinkable. I did have a batch of amber lager which fermented in an unheated back room in the dead of winter, it turned out better than anything I could buy at the time, it taught me the value of temperature control and gave me the motivation keep going. Before life intervened I did graduate to all grain for a few batches.
   After a hiatus of more than 30 years I finally had the time, resources and interest to get back into brewing. For those who weren't brewing in BFE in the 80's there is no way to convey much the hobby has changed since then, every single thing about it is better today. The access to and quality of information, supplies and equipment is amazing. Brewing is WAY more fun now, and success is so much more easily attained than it was in those days. I'm frequently amused about some of the "problems" we talk about today, I'd have considered myself a damn good brewer in those days to have such challenges. Here's to a great hobby/addiction, and to all the great people who have helped over the years to make it what it is today!
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline jeffy

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2019, 05:54:46 PM »
Noob, 27+ years here.   ;)

Old man!   ;D



Yes I am. Wait, you're older than me.  ;D

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I started in 1990 and may be slightly older than Denny by a month or so.
Brewing has become a major part of my identity.
Sometimes I feel as if I live in three universes that rarely overlap.  I am at the center of the Venn diagram with brewing, Mazda repair and art museums.
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Offline Robert

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2019, 06:14:56 PM »
I started in '89, dove right into all grain (we did this funny thing brewing in bags back then ) intending before I even started to learn a little on my own, go to school, and go pro.  Well, that kept getting put off, but like others here, brewing remained a central part of my identity.  I kind of envy Keith and others who've lived the dream, but I've just recently finally been able to let the idea go (mostly.)  And now I still find this obsession central to my life, but I realize it's nice to just do it for my own satisfaction and not have to be beholden to others  visions and tastes, or be distracted by all the stuff that has nothing to do with making beer.  Which I know is most of being a pro.  Anyway, Keith, I'm very happy for you, and that you're finding a way forward that lets you be true to yourself.  Best of success in your new ventures.
Rob Stein
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 24 years!
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2019, 06:19:28 PM »
Noob, 27+ years here.   ;)

Old man!   ;D



Yes I am. Wait, you're older than me.  ;D

 ;D
I started in 1990 and may be slightly older than Denny by a month or so.
Brewing has become a major part of my identity.
Sometimes I feel as if I live in three universes that rarely overlap.  I am at the center of the Venn diagram with brewing, Mazda repair and art museums.

I've got the brewing and art museum intersection.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!